The Board of the Riigikogu on Monday confirmed Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder as a member of the National Defence Committee of the Riigikogu. Social Democrat (SDE) Tanel Talve will take his spot in the Finance Committee.
The change was made by the ruling government coalition, which consists of the Center Party and junior members SDE and IRL, in order to maintain a majority in both committees.
In early September, the Board of the Riigikogu received Marko Mihkelson and Margus Tsahkna's resignations from the IRL parliamentary group, and as Tsahkna was a member of the National Defence Committee, this meant that the coalition lost their majority in that committee five to six ahead of last Monday's opening session of the Riigikogu.
Had Olga Ivanova, who was expelled from the Center Party last week, decided to leave the Center Party parliamentary group as well, the committee would have ended up 7-4 in favor of the opposition.
Mihkelson to continue chairing foreign affairs committee
MP Marko Mihkelson, who left the IRL parliamentary group last week, will remain chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, IRL secretary general Priit Sibul said.
Sibul told BNS that, according to the government coalition agreement, the position of chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee belongs to IRL and the party will not take the post away from Mihkelson. He added that changes connected to MPs and parliamentary committees have been discussed in the coalition.
"Since the coalition now has two fewer MPs, it is clear that it is not possible to do with 54 votes what was done with 56 votes," Sibul said.
Mihkelson and former IRL chairman Margus Tsahkna announced in June that they had decided to leave IRL. Earlier this month, the Board of the Riigikogu also received their resignations from the IRL parliamentary group.
Mihkelson and Tsahkna will continue as independents in the Riigikogu.
Editor: Aili Vahtla
Source: ERR, BNS